Retail Focus with Furniture And Choice

Amthal Karim, Head of Marketing at online retailer Furniture And Choice, talks about recent investments, the upcoming launch of a new website, why AI is important and what consumers are looking for before making a purchase.

Meet Amthal

As Head of Marketing, I manage the brand assets at Furniture And Choice. I’m passionate about creating amazing photography and inspirational content. I’m also responsible for researching the latest trends for our buying and sourcing team.

Recent investments?

We’ve recently invested in an exciting TV campaign which aired over Black Friday and during the New Year. Styling a set for television instead of photography was an entirely new experience – we certainly didn’t realise how much work goes into creating just one thirty second clip! Venturing into ‘above- the-line’ was an important turning point for our brand – we want people to notice us. The TV campaign helped us to increase awareness of Furniture And Choice and we want to keep up the momentum with further marketing investment.

Within buying and sourcing, we’ve spent a significant amount of time revamping our product ranges. We’ve been analysing interior trends closely so that we can offer fashionable furniture to our customers – the monochrome aesthetic and curved shapes are really popular at the moment. We intend to keep expanding our product offering so that customers will always find something new when they visit our website.

Future plans?

We’re currently developing a new website to meet the growing needs of the business and to take advantage of new technology, AI and personalisation. This will enable us to run more efficiently and increase our competitiveness in the current economic climate. Artificial Intelligence has developed rapidly in the last few years and – within ecommerce – we believe it will empower asset development, predicting consumer behaviour and enhance the customer experience.

As for our marketing strategy, we’re planning to work with influencers and brands a lot more this year so there will be some strong collaborations to watch out for.

What is your mission?

At Furniture And Choice, our mission is to banish the fear of buying furniture online. We have a high level of product, manufacturing, and e-commerce experience within the company. This enables us to offer quality products backed up by free delivery, free and easy returns, and knowledgeable staff.

On sustainability, what is your business doing on this topic?

To offset our carbon footprint, we plant a tree for every order – our aim is to plant 500,000 trees. We’re also moving to 100% recycled cardboard and phasing out virgin plastics in our product packaging. In terms of products, we’re now offering customers recycled and solvent free upholstery options, and all the wood we use is sustainably sourced. We’ve been using sustainably sourced wood from the very beginning – since we launched in 2005. The timber we use comes from managed forests, which adheres to strict guidelines to prevent deforestation. Within our business operations, we also recycle and manage waste responsibly.

How has recent business been? What trends are you noticing?

In the current economic climate, we’re noticing that customers are browsing around for the best deals more than ever before they make their purchase. It seems there is a demand for good value, high quality furniture that will last longer – as opposed to the more ‘fast-fashion’ approach which had started to take hold before the Pandemic. We’re also seeing a trend towards luxurious detail in furniture design – customers want subtle touches that make their sofa or dining chair feel like a designer purchase. It’s become less about making a statement and more about understated luxury.

Lifestyle Shoot – Designer Living

What would you change in the industry?

It would be great to see more female digital marketing specialists, buyers and directors within the furniture industry – this is an area that seems to be under-represented at the moment.

What challenges do you currently face and how are you overcoming these?

We’re facing the same challenges as probably every business – the downturn in the economic climate. Our strategy is to maintain Furniture And Choice’s strong USPs – good value, high quality furniture with fast, free delivery. We’re investing in the brand, building brand awareness and increasing market share. We’ll also continue to inspire our customers with exciting content and new furniture designs.

Do you have any staff you would like to pay special thanks or recognition to and why?

The entire team at Furniture And Choice – they’re amazing! Everybody works towards our brand values of being open, knowledgeable, agile and cooperative. We have offices in the UK and Asia and its impressive how everybody works so well together. Every member of staff matters and we all contribute to the success of the business together.

 Why do you think customers choose your business?

Customers choose us because – in online furniture retail – we’re a well-established, trusted and knowledgeable brand. We boast thousands of independent reviews rated ‘Excellent’ and once people discover our brand, they love to browse and buy from us. We back this all up with excellent customer service, free delivery and free returns which entices customers to commit to that final click.

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